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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

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Epipolized light is merely light which has been purged of the invisible, or at most feebly illuminating rays more refrangible than the violet; and the term itself, which in fact was only adopted provisionally by Sir John Herschel, and which has now served its purpose, may henceforth be discarded, especially as it is calculated to convey a false impression respecting the cause of the phenomenon. It remained to examine other instances of internal dispersion, of which, according to Sir David Brewster's observations, the dispersion produced by sulphate of quinine is only a particular case; to endeavour to make out the laws according to which a change of refrangibility takes place; and, if possible, to account for these laws on mechanical principles.
13. In giving an account of my further experiments, I think it best to describe in detail the phenomena observed in some of the more remarkable instances of internal dispersion before attempting to draw any general conclusions. It will save repetition to explain in the first instance the methods of observation employed, which on the whole may very fairly be divided into four, though occasionally it was convenient to employ intermediate methods, or a combination of two of them. Of course I frequently availed myself of Sir David Brewster's method of observation, in which the effect of the incident light is studied as a whole; but the methods here referred to relate to an investigation of the separate offices of the portions of light of different degrees of refrangibility which are found in the incident beam. As my researches proceeded, new methods of observation suggested themselves, but these will be described in their place.
Methods of Observation, employed.
FIRST METHOD.—The sun's light was reflected horizontally through a small lens, which was fixed in a hole in a vertical board. The cone of emergent rays was allowed to enter the solid or fluid examined. A coloured glass or other absorbing medium was then placed, first so as to intercept the incident rays, and then between the substance examined and the eye. For shortness5 sake these positions will be designated as the first and the second. Sometimes a coloured glass was allowed to remain in front of the hole, and a second glass was added, first in front of the hole and then in front of the eye.